Be inspired by Sholeh Wolpé

In the lead up to Issue VI’s submission deadline, our Editor is sharing six poems which she believes speak to the themes of courage and the symbolic serpent, as well as being linked to Li Ji’s heroism. In preparing your submission (whether it be poetry, prose, photography or art), feel free to be inspired by these pieces.

Man Without Fear by Sholeh Wolpé

I hear shots.  

It’s the wind, I say. 

Then, loud murmurs. 

Surely the fountain below my room. 


The moon is a bruised fist tonight. 

It has obliterated the stars.  


I sleepwalk across the tiny island  

to you, mi Hombre Sin Miedo,  

my stony love. 

It’s dark and the padre in the chapel 

with his missing arm and chipped toes 

is soaked in yellow holy halo. 


But you mi amor, my lichen-crusted  

beloved, stand against this moon-lit wall, 

eyes sewn to the sea. Such sadness  

in the curve of your spine, the tilt of your neck.  

Does the smell of death still reek  

through the crevices of this blood-stained wall?  

Do the cries of men in Franco’s blizzard of lead  

still echo in the chiseled chambers of these ears? 


Here are my eyelashes.  

Take them in your lips. 

Here is my forehead.


Let it rest on your chin. 

Here is my tongue.  


Something behind the wall shudders and  


the ancient oak. Leaves flutter and rain. 

We kiss like ghosts.



Submissions for Issue VI close on May 15th. Read more about the issue here.

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